Israel Adesanya has defeated Alex Pereira to reclaim the UFC middleweight belt title in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 287.
The Nigerian-born New Zealander knocked out the Brazilian in the fourth minute of the second round of the bout which took place at the FTX Arena, Miami, Florida, on Sunday morning, April 9.
Adesanya entered UFC 287 after suffering three defeats in his first three meetings with Pereira.
Just last year, he was knocked out in round five of a fight he was winning at UFC 281, which was the middleweight duo’s first meeting in MMA. Before the clash, Pereira ended Adesanya’s 12-fight kickboxing win streak with a controversial unanimous decision victory that led to a rematch.
A year later, Pereira put Adesnaya out cold on the canvas and he later required oxygen as he struggled to instantly regain consciousness.
Adesanya in post-fight, said: “I told him before, ‘Thank you for all that you’ve done. Thank you for beating me because [by] beating me he made me a better fighter, a better person.’
“In this camp, I didn’t f*** around. If you know me, you know I like a vacation but I didn’t f*** around, I stayed on the grind.
“I’ve been putting myself through it, you can see it on FREESTYLEBENDER on YouTube. I don’t put my highlights on [Instagram], I put in work.
“I get tired so that when I get in here, I don’t get tired.”
The win over Pereira is Adesanya’s 24th in his career in mixed martial arts (MMA).